World War I and Gadar movement

World War I and Indian Nationalism

  • Increasing number of Indians from Punjab were emigrating to North America.
  • The British government thought that these emigrants would be affected by the idea of liberty. Hence, they tried to restrict emigration.
  • Tarak Nath Das, an Indian student in Canada, started a paper called Free Hindustan.
  • The Hindi Association was setup in Portland in May 1913.
  • Under the leadership of Lala Har Dayal, a weekly paper, The Ghadar was started and a headquarters called Yugantar Ashram was set up in San Fransisco.
  • On November 1, 1913, the first issue of Ghadar was published in Urdu and on December 9, the Gurumukhi edition.
  • In 1914, three events influenced the course of the Ghadar movement:
    • The arrest and escape of Har Dayal
    • The Komagata Maru incident
    • Outbreak of the first world war
  • Gharadites came to India and made several attempts to instill the Indian population to revolt. However, this was of no avail.
  • The Ghadar movement was very secular in nature.
  • Ghadar militants were distinguished by their secular, egalitarian, democratic and non-chauvinistic internationalist outlook.
  • The major weakness of the Ghadar leaders was that they completely under-estimated the extent and amount of preparation at every level – organizational, ideological, strategic, tactical, financial – that was necessary before an attempt at an armed revolt could be organized.
  • It also failed to generate an effective and sustained leadership that was capable of integrating the various aspects of the movement.
  • Another weakness was its almost non-existent organizational structure.
  • Some important leaders: Baba Gurmukh Singh, Kartar Singh Saraba, Sohan Singh Bhakna, Rahmat Ali Shah, Bhai Parmanand and Mohammad Barkatullah.
  • Inspired by the Ghadar Party, 700 soldiers at Singapore revolted under the leadership of Jamadar Chisti Khan and Subedar Dundey Khan. The rebellion was crushed.
  • Other revolutionaries: Jatin Mukharjee, Rash Bihari Bose, Raja Mahendra Pratab, Lala Hardayal, Abdul Rahim, Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi, Champakaraman Pillai, Sardar Singh Rana and Madame Cama

 

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